Request for allowing one sock puppet per poster

Umm, is this a trick question? I can’t know for sure. They get disappeared, right? But enough that there are ‘holes’ in the discussion.

It was just one. Long time PITA. Not really what you think of as a sock. Just a poster who loves the Board so much he has to come back again and again to post his displeasure with it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Why on earth does it “destroy any credibility in any factual question”?

If the question is “How do you do X in MS Word?” how does the existence of socks (of the type described in the OP) change the dynamics and the veracities of the answers?

I can see that this is an unpopular idea, so that’s fine. But let’s not invent problems with the proposal that don’t exist.

To me, the only problem would be ensuring that the two identities of the same user account don’t post to the same thread. If the board software could prevent that automatically, thus providing no extra work for the mods, I don’t see why the existence of “Charlie” and “Jack” posting in mutually exclusive sets of threads does any harm to the SDMB, vs just “Charlie” posting in those threads. It would be like having two users with different sets of tastes who post in different threads. I honestly can’t see the “disaster” people are predicting.

As I mentioned above, this seems like an unpopular idea, and that’s fine.

Considering we’ve already had threads on pan fried semen…I’m not sure I want to know what people are too afraid to ask! :eek:

Make that two. One of my posts went missing from that thread last year as well.

This isn’t the Pit. Please do not insult anyone.

Ask.MetaFilter does allow anonymous questions and use a method that, with tweaking, could work on the SDMB.

Their method is to have anonymous questions go into a queue that can only be read by the admins, they then post the questions using the anonymous account. Not every post gets accepted of course, they might breach rules or really have no need to be asked anonymously in the first place.

I think for that to work here, there’d need to be maybe one person assigned the role of anonymous question asker - with a second account just for posting the questions - and have posters wishing to ask something with no tie to their username contact them.

It would of course mean more work for that person (maybe someone could be taken on just for that role?) but a far greater task would be convincing those in charge that there are legitimate reasons for asking questions anonymously and that allowing that one solitary second account that’s only accessible by one person isn’t against the spirit of the board.

In the long run, it’d probably be easier just to pay Mathowie $5 and join MeFi, but for what it’s worth I’ll step up to plate and offer to do it. Have Ed call my people and we’ll do lunch.

It was never considered a problem for “factual” threads, but for debates and for the social chit-chat. In debates, we didn’t want someone arguing with (or supporting) themselves; agreed, that your suggestion would be one way around that, if it could be implemented, and I don’t know whether the software would allow it. However, that would still require that people be honest – they’d need to register both screen names under the same ID (email or something), and then it would be very difficult for moderators to find offenders (people who registered as two or three or four different screen names, under different ID, to debate with themselves.)

And, in the social forums (IMHO, MPSIMS, etc), we’ve always wanted to build some sort of “online community” and we think we’re succeeding at that. That requires people be responsible for what they say, and the notion of sock undermines that pretty effectively.

Is there an official objection to this? I think we all have a “friend” in here without a reputation to uphold but whom we could trust with PMing a question for them to proxy.

Not that an official objection would be enforceable at all, but I am still curious.

I explained this once over the summer, but it turned out the OP was a sock. :wink: What Dex mentioned about people backing themselves up in arguments is also a good point. My view is that when you allow socks it becomes much easier to pretend to have expertise they don’t really have and that it would damage GQ.

I haven’t invented a thing. I’m explaining one of the implications of the idea.

I know we’re supposed to be the wisest people on the web, but there are other sites where you can ask embarrassing questions.

Given a polite, respectful tone from a hypothetical OP, I disagree with you. There’s nothing wrong about polling members about board features. Perhaps it should have been done in IMHO instead of here, as it’s essentially a poll, but that’s the worst you can say.

That’s not to say that such a thread shouldn’t be closed if it turns into a pissing match among third parties … but even in such a case, the OP’s hands are clean.

The simplest implementation of this would be to create a Moderator account (with password known to all or chosen mods) for proxy questions. If you want to ask an anonymous GQ, you PM this account, some mod will read it and post it if it is considered safe to go. I not, then no and that was that, no appeals, no pittings, no second opinions. I think it would create minimal extra work for the mods and be almost abuse-proof.

The problem with the question-by-proxy proposals is:

  1. You are creating work for someone (either a mod or another poster), and mods are overloaded as is.

  2. More importantly, it is a one-shot deal. You ask the question, and sit back and read the responses. The problem is that this is not how threads usually go. You ask the question, you get some responses and requests for clarifications, and there is a back-and-forth between the asker and the responders. It would be unrealistic to implement this in a question-by-proxy setup.

If you’re too embarrassed about a question to ask it yourself, you shouldn’t ask it.

Is the 25-foot billboard option going to be implemented as some sort of check-box in your membership profile? I could really use a feature like that.

That’s me to a T. Seriously though, is there anything officially wrong with two posters working in concert to allow a bit more of a detachment from questions or issues that they aren’t comfortable posting themselves?

As I was thinking of it I’d just post that “Another poster has asked me to be the intermediary on this topic…Blah blah blah” just for transparancy.

Hey, I said simplest, not best. :wink:

I don’t think the amount of extra work would be excessive (and I don’t think the mods are so overstretched as it is, we never see mod calls a week after the fact)

As for the back and forth, the users of this feature would have to be aware that this is not the usual thing and that they should not expect the usual deal. I can imagine that the same mods who decided to post the OP would have no objection to post a needed clarification. This is not the medium for a debate, though. If it really takes that much back and forth, maybe the OP should have been clearer. Or this is not the right type of issue for that form.

Plus, at some point there will be enough posters involved that the actual member could easily jump in unnoticed and steer the thread.

I fully agree with this, but I can see why someone else would not. There are all kinds of people, and some people are less candid, without that making them less desirable as members of the community.

Think of my previous example. Suppose I have a 9-year old who wets his bed. I want to get some feedback on some particular of this issue, but I know my mom, boss and the parents of some of his friends read here. By asking I would be exposing him. Again, nothing life shattering, but an example of where anonymity would be nice.

Ditto for the other hemorrhoids example. Some members are glad to enter a pissing contest to see who dumps the biggest turd, as per a current thread, but some others are more private (my thanks to all of them). Are medical conditions something to be embarrassed of? No, but they are something that some people like to keep private in mixed company.

Of course it doesn’t make them less desirable as members of the community here. But ultimately, if you want to keep something private, the thing to do is not tell anyone - not seek a workaround. On this board, I think you’ve basically got as much anonymity, or as little, as you want.

Tenebras, you’d be surprised how inexpensive a billboard is these days.